Encouraging College?

Back in 1997, Blair’s new government announced that it had set a target of 50 percent of students getting college educations. (Sounds like Obama’s goal — 55 percent.) How well has that worked out? Not well at all. The country is well below Blair’s target, and many of those who are in college get little benefit from it. The author writes about British students, “They have been told that higher education will be good for them: they have not been told that it will only be good for them if they want to do it.”

Here is the author’s conclusion: “We shouldn’t get too hung up on statistics, particularly ones like that arbitrary 50 percent target. A university education can be a joy, a privilege, a stepping stone; but it is not a prerequisite for a happy and successful career.”

from Higher Ed Oversold

“Placebo effects can be very powerful and many supposedly effective medicines do not in fact outperform the placebo. The sorry truth is that no one has compared modern education to a placebo. What if we just gave people lots of face-to-face contact and told them they were being educated?”

He reluctantly provides the terrifying conclusion: Maybe that’s what current methods of education already consist of.

from Ben Casnocha

Both these quotes came from reading Joanne Jacobs’ “High Cost, Low Benefit.”

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